Open Online Course

This online drumming course (MOOC) features a YouTube channel hosting 100+ videos accumulating 7 million views and 50,000 subscribers, and a website hosting hundreds of play-along audio tracks, digital sheet music, course guides, educational articles and discussion forums.

This content has been used in schools around the world, by private teachers and self-taught drummers from a wide variety of backgrounds. Language is kept simple and easy to translate. Videos are filmed from the perspective of the drummer and presented as guided practice.

You’ll find examples of micro-learning, full-fledged courses with clear objectives and assessments, a moderated community, and an array of supporting content.

Challenge

Online music lessons are convenient, self-paced and affordable. Learners have access to world class musicians from the comfort of their homes. No driving, traffic, parking, scheduling, waiting, or other inconveniences.

To compete as a local private music teacher, I needed to offer all of the benefits of online learning with the added support of private instruction.

My Role

Full scope, end-to-end analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation including user research, competitive analysis, curriculum design, storyingboarding, prototyping, usability testing, videography, editing, composition, audio engineering, copy writing, digital sheet music creation, web design and development, community building, data gathering and analysis.

Solution

In 2011, inspired by Khan Academy, I started building an open online course for drummers. This was an opportunity to build my private teaching business while helping people who don’t have access to a teacher.

The content is a reference library from which weekly practice plans can be constructed. This takes advantage of flipped and blended learning approaches. Students can learn at home and practice with videos, audio tracks and digital sheet music, then submit video or meet in person for feedback.

Design and development are guided by data from YouTube, Google Analytics, WordPress/Jetpack, community feedback and testing in a blended learning environment.

Results

Over a 10 year period the results were as follows

  • Growth in private lesson sales from 15 – 20 per week to 30 – 50 students per week
  • Rate increase from $40/hr to $100/hr
  • Transition from 20% adult student base to 80% adult student base
  • Transition from local in-person teaching, to teaching an international audience of adults via Zoom with a performance consulting approach
  • Advertising revenue paid for the cost of design and development time, software and hardware
  • Proven success in designing and delivering online learning solutions and performance improvement facilitated transition to consulting in other industries, freelancing as a learning design consultant

Software Tools

  • Articulate 360
  • Final Cut Pro (video)
  • Logic Pro (audio)
  • Avid Sibelius (digital sheet music)
  • Amazon AWS S3 (hosting and delivery)
  • Adobe Illustrator (logos and graphics)
  • Adobe Photoshop (image editing)
  • WordPress (content management and data)
  • HTML/CSS/JS (customization of web content)
  • YouTube (hosting, delivery and data)
  • Google Analytics (data)
  • Tableau (data analysis and visualization)

Hardware Tools

  • Cannon Rebel T3i digital SLR camera (video)
  • Cannon Vixia HF digital camcorder (video)
  • Neumann TLM 103 microphone (audio)
  • Shure KSM 32 microphones (audio)
  • Shure SM57 microphone (audio)
  • Mackie Onyx Blackbird digital audio interface (audio)
  • Apogee Duet digital audio interface (audio)